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Block Island Is Lively, Not Lonely

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block island vacation

Solitude can be tough to find on the beautiful, busy beaches of Miami, Los Angeles or Cancun. But that’s not so at Block Island, 12 miles off the southern coast of Rhode Island. There are no lack of tourist-friendly amenities: grand Victorian seaside inns and cozy little bed-and-breakfasts; cute shops offering ocean-themed trinkets and treasures; bustling beaches just steps from the central Old Harbor commercial district.

Visiting Block Island

But Block Island RI has a prominent natural side, too. The Island has a wide-open feel, despite the throngs of visitors arriving every summer day. More than 40 percent of the island remains undeveloped, thanks in part to national and local conservation organizations that have helped preserve large tracts.

Visitors can rent cars on the island, although bicycles are a popular option. Mopeds are another choice, although they (but not cars) are banned from the many dirt roads, making a bike the best vehicle for a leisurely exploration of the island’s more natural side. Block Island (like Big and Little Darby creeks in central Ohio) was named a “Last Great Place” by the Island’s Nature Conservancy office.

Although the first white settlers landed in 1661, the island outpost was extremely sleepy for a couple of centuries, until a breakwater was built at Old Harbor in 1870, allowing boats to safely dock. The island’s other commercial center, New Harbor, was established in 1895 after a large channel was cut from the open ocean into Great Salt Pond, the large saltwater lake at the center of the island. Although the harbor entrances are on opposite sides of the island, New Harbor is only about a mile from Old Harbor as the crow flies or the hiker walks.

New Harbor is smaller than Old but has several popular attractions such as Payne’s Dock, a center of activity for both boaters and landlubbers. It’s a good spot to rent a kayak and explore the Great Salt Pond or the channels and quiet connecting bodies such as Harbor Pond and Trim’s Pond.

Although it’s simple to find solitude, the friendly denizens also make it easy to make new acquaintances.You can see huge yachts and spectacular summer homes, but Block Island also is comfortably scruffy around the edges, in contrast to local mainland resort towns such as Newport. In addition to the trails, the island is ringed by 17 miles of beach and dotted with dozens (local legend says hundreds) of small freshwater ponds.

Those who are willing to make a long trek, or have a wheeled vehicle, might also want to explore historic lighthouses at both the north and south ends of the island. Because, as nice as finding solitude can be, sometimes a traveler likes to hear the friendly voices of his fellow humans. Fortunately, a Block Island vacation is a great place for both.

Block Island Travel Guide

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Block Island Bed and Breakfast

Looking into visiting the East Coast for your next vacation? Look no further than Block Island, Rhode Island. We may be small, but there is certainly no shortage of activities to experience on the island! Looking for some tips? Keep reading our quick Block Island travel guide!

Your Block Island Travel Guide

About 12 miles off of Rhode Island’s southern coast, Block Island is the smallest state’s answer to nearby bigger and ritzier Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. With 17 miles of beaches that—unlike many of those on its Massachusetts sister islands—are open to everyone, it has been a vacation destination since the 19th century. Despite the number of summer visitors and thanks to the efforts of local conservationists, the island’s beauty remains intact (more than 43% of the land is preserved); its 365 freshwater ponds support thousands of species of birds that migrate seasonally along the Atlantic Flyway.

The original inhabitants of the island were Native Americans who called it Manisses, or “isle of the little god.” Following a 1614 visit by Dutch explorer Adrian Block, the island was given the name Adrian’s Eyelant, and later Block Island. In 1661 it was settled by farmers and fishermen from Massachusetts Bay Colony, who established its second official name, the Town of New Shoreham, when it became part of Rhode Island in 1672.

Block Island RI, with 950 year-round residents, is a laid-back community. You can dine at any of the island’s establishments in shorts and a T-shirt. The busiest season, when the population explodes to about 15,000, is between May and Columbus Day—at other times most restaurants, inns, stores, and visitor services close down. If you plan to stay overnight in summer, make reservations well in advance (try one of our many vacation rentals!); for weekends in July and August, March is not too early.

Your Destination Wedding on Block Island

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destination wedding block island RI

Block Island is a great choice for a destination wedding when you don’t want to travel far and want breathtaking views. You can get this and more without breaking the bank. Block Island Accommodations offers amazing views and rentals where all of your guests can stay so they won’t need to travel far. With a place to stay and get married at without leaving the property, you can have the wedding you’ve been dreaming of!

Block Island Destination Wedding

A wedding on the beach is one of the most sought after dream weddings. But you also need to make accommodations and plans for this wedding. Guests will need a place to stay and somewhere close and inexpensive. Block Island RI can offer multiple resources to ensure your wedding will be done your way and easy. There are multiple catering companies on Block Island that are available to you. A few of them are Block Island Gourmet and Catering by Kimberly. There are plenty of other options to choose from. Florists aren’t hard to find on Block Island and each offer good deals for your wedding flowers. There’s only one music provider on Block Island but you can easily call them or find someone else you want. Then, before the big day you and your bridesmaids can go to one of the local spas on the island and have a relaxing day before the big day!

As always, your favorite block island rentals company is right here. The Bellevue house, our largest, is here to accommodate big families so that the whole family can spend the time together. Just a short walk from the beach is the best part or you can choose to get married right on the cliffs. Either way, your big day will be unforgettable. Everybody involved in your wedding will always remember your wedding on Block Island.

Best Restaurants in Block Island

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best restaurants in block island

Block Island RI does not only offer beautiful lodging and accommodations, but also delicious restaurants. You will find all types of cuisine including French, Italian, Asian, and Mexican menus.

Restaurants in Block Island

Winfield’s
Winfield’s offers a sophisticated and flavorful menu influenced by French, Italian, American and Asian cuisines, featuring fresh, local vegetables and farm-raised beef and poultry. The menu is small and specialized, with meals to suit every taste, including seafood, beef, poultry and vegetarian items, perfectly prepared with tasteful creativity. The dining room is intimate and comfortably elegant. If you’re looking for something different, try the mushroom ravioli with pesto sauce. It will send your taste buds for a whirl.

Dead Eye Dick’s
Dead Eye Dick’s menu offers the freshest seafood, including their signature swordfish and lobster dishes. Their hot butter lobster roll will make you never want to leave. Enjoy homemade soups, an extensive raw bar, creative cocktails, wine and microbrews in their casual dining room or outside on the deck overlooking New Harbor.

Eli’s
Eli’s is a small, relaxed summertime retreat. If your looking for something other than typical “island food,” this is the place to go. Their Asian-inspired comfort food, ethereal bread pudding and watermelon-coconut soup are reasons enough to board the ferry.

Terrapin Taco
Coming to the island but craving Mexican food? Terrapin Taco is the place for you. Their menu offers fresh, affordable food and can accommodate gluten-free and vegetarian diners. Order a massive burrito with their delicious sauces and prepare to fall in love.

Ice Cream Place
After trying any of these delicious restaurants, you may want to top off the night and stop by the Ice Cream Place for a brownie sundae. Not only is their ice cream home made, but so is their hot fudge and whip cream. Their flavors change from day to day, so be sure to visit more than once during your Block Island vacation!

Choose Block Island Accommodations for your Next Vacation

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Block Island Accommodations

Choosing the best place for your vacation is hard, especially when it comes to deciding where to stay. Block Island Accommodations is a magnificent collection of Bed & Breakfast, rental homes, and apartments on Block Island, RI, offering beautiful hilltop lodging and accommodations. You will find nothing short of gracious hospitality, superior service, and comfort in a meadow-like setting that recalls Block Island’s farming tradition. If you are searching for a Rhode Island vacation spot for a family reunion, getaway, wedding, or even your honeymoon, Block Island Accomodations has a house for you!

Block Island Accommodations

Block Island rentals, homes and apartments, are available for reservations May through October. Rooms and suites are up for nightly rentals. With that in mind, booking your rental for next summer should be the first thing you do! All of our rentals are on the same property and just a five minute walk from the beach and town. The cottages are located on a quiet hill where you will have a great view of the ocean and town. With just the sound of the ocean around you, what could be better? If you’re looking for a peaceful vacation then these lodges are the best fit for you!

Choosing a cottage to stay in for your Block Island vacation isn’t too tough with us! We offer five beautiful homes for you to choose from. The Sterling House and Cottage Sweet Cottage are two of the small single family homes. They’re perfect for a couple honeymooning! Both have a large yard and great view of the ocean. The Sterling House has a large apartment, which can be rented out nightly, which would be great for a family vacation. The Cape House is the largest of the single family homes. The kitchen in this house was remodeled in 2008 to modernize it. The Windrose House has a wrap around porch and is perfect for large families coming in whether for a wedding or reunion. The Bellevue House is perfect for any occasion! There’s wonderful hospitality and amazing service. It’s right on top of the hill, the best views of the island are from this house! Whether you’re vacationing for a wedding, family reunion, or a girls weekend out, any of our houses will do!

Block Island Dining

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block island dining

When you are on a vacation you are on a budget and eating is the most important on the list of budgeting. You don’t want to spend too much, but you want a unique experience. Block Island dining offers all of this. Each restaurant is unique and decently priced so that vacationers can dine on a budget.

Block Island Restaurants: The best of Block Island dining

Winfield’s is just off Dodge Street on Block Island RI. It’s under a five minute drive from our rentals. Their meals are inspired by French, Italian, New American, and Asian cuisines. Winfield’s is unique because they feature fresh veggies and farm raised beef and poultry. Knowing your food comes from a local farm makes this place stand out. Supporting local farmers is important and your meal isn’t coming from a mass produced company. While they have a small menu, it is specialized. Eli’s is a small restaurant with Asian inspired meals. They have a vegetarian menu for those who are vegetarian’s or can’t eat meat.

Poor People’s Pub is for people that are on a tight budget and a popular place. The original owners went through a bad economic situation. It’s cheaper for families that need to budget or have picky eaters with them. The PPP also supports our rentals and you Block Island dining experience. The PPP holds events at each of their locations, with special summer menus to go along. The PPP also teams up with local farms and use their produce, including meat and vegetables, which are available during the season. PPP is unique in the fact that they also smoke their own meat on the premises. While they may have a hobo as their logo, don’t be fooled, this place serves award winning chowder and the best mac and cheese you’ll find anywhere!

Finally, the end your night out with your family while on Block Island RI, go down to the Ice Cream Place. It’s the most popular ice cream joint on Block Island and they have unique flavors and sundaes. Block Islands rentals are in close proximity to each of these restaurants and the Ice Cream Place.

Hiking trails on Block Island

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hiking trails on block island

While the beach is definitely a popular place to be when you go on vacation, Block Island offers more than just that. Even though the island is only 10 square miles of land there is plenty of nature trails to walk on Block Island.

 

Block Island Nature Trails

 

There are seven trails that add up to 25 miles on Block Island RI. Each trail has a key feature that makes it special such as the view of the ocean or the wildlife. One of the popular trails is the Clay Head Hill Trail. This hiking trail has some of the best views Block Island has to offer. A third of the way down the trail there will be an intersection. If you go right you will go to the beach, if you choose the left trail it will take you to the bluffs on the Northeast Side of the island. The view off the bluffs is something that needs to be experienced in person. In the fall, this trail is a great way to see migratory birds.

 

The Elizabeth Dickens Trail was named after “the bird lady” of Block Island. She is well known for teaching ornithology and natural history to children as well as starting wildlife conservation on the island. Her trail is made up of mainly a large, open field that goes to the bluff’s edge on the Southeast end of the island, giving you an ocean view. Rodman’s Hollow takes you to the edge of the bluffs also. At the end of this hiking trail a panoramic view of the Atlantic awaits you.

 

If you are feeling really adventurous, consider hiking the beach. The beach hike takes about 8 hours to complete with two breaks in the shore but is possible to hike around the island. One is at the New Harbor Channel and the other is at the ferry landing in Old Harbor. Just pick a starting point and get going. While most of these trails are a few minutes drive from Block Island Rentals, it’s well worth the time!

 

 

The Block Island Ferry Experience

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Block Island Ferry

The Block Island Ferry is the only ferry service that sails to Block Island. Whether you are coming from Pt. Judith, New London, Newport, or Fall River, a scenic voyage awaits you. With frequent departures and a convenient schedule, your trips to and from the island will be easy sailing.

Block Island Ferry in Rhode Island

After a long drive, taking a ferry on the Atlantic is a relaxing experience. Being the only way to reach Block Island, it’s the best excuse to take a moment and admire the passing scenery on the way to your destination. On the ferry you can enjoy a quick snack with the family, a drink with a friend, or walk the outside deck. A ferry voyage can take up to fifty-five minutes, so kick back and enjoy the ocean view.

The ferry takes you to Old Harbor, a historical district in New Shoreham on the eastern side of Block Island. While your car is being unloaded from the ferry, take a walk around Rhode Island’s smallest town and take in the sights. Water Street has an array of shops and restaurants that provide fun for the whole family. When it’s time to wind down, Block Island Bed and Breakfast is only a third of a mile south of town. Being a ten-minute walk or a minute drive from Old Harbor, the location of our Block Island rentals is both beautiful and convenient.

Reserve your place on the ferry. We’ll see you soon!

Preparing for the Beach on Your Block Island Vacation

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Block Island Accommodations

Summer is finally here. Your trip to the beach is right around the corner and there is still plenty of time to book one of many vacation home rentals through Block Island Accommodations. But before you go, make sure you and your family are prepared for this year’s vacation. With bathing suits in stow and a snack arsenal for the beach, you’re well on your way to having a relaxing trip in beautiful Block Island.

Beach Activities for your Block Island Vacation

Block Island, RI is the perfect relaxation spot. Take an early morning stroll in time to catch a breathtaking view of the sunrise and, while you’re at it, feel free to explore the seventeen miles of shore that surrounds the island. Clayhead Beach is perfect for hunting rocks and shells and makes for a great group activity. At Coastguard Beach, enjoy the softer currents and the warm water for comfortable swimming. Popular with moms and toddlers, Baby Beach is a part of Crescent Beach and has shallow water safe for the kids to enjoy. No matter your vacation needs, Block Island has options for you.

Your entire vacation doesn’t have to be in the seat of a beach chair. Block Island has an array of shops and restaurants for the days you’re not in the mood for parasailing or jet skiing. Find the perfect gift for yourself or someone back home, or enjoy a family dinner at one of several restaurants available on the island. While the warm weather is still here, choose one of our home rentals, pack your bags, and enjoy a Block Island vacation with your friends and family.

Block Island rentals for two

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Block island vacation home rental

Planning a getaway with your significant other and don’t know where to go? Block Island RI is the perfect destination. It’s hard to find a vacation destination that isn’t crowded with other people getting in your way or making your experience less private. Block Island rentals are the perfect choice when you want to slip away and have some alone time with the one you love.

 

Block Island rentals for your getaway

 

Whether you’re looking for a trip full of adventure or relaxation or a little bit of both, Block Island rentals can accommodate all your desires. From trips to the spa to trips down the trail, you’re bound to find something amazing to do while at your vacation home rental on Block Island with your significant other.

Nothing says relaxation like a day at the spa. Couples massages and facials that melt all your troubles away. It’s a great way to start or end the day with your loved one, allowing for the special alone time that you might not have time for at home. When you book a Block Island vacation rental, you can score amazing deals so you can pamper like a movie star without the five star prices.

Maybe you’re looking for a great escape into nature. If you and your significant other are up for some adventure for two, there are plenty of activities to feed your appetite. Take out bike rentals around town for some exploring or easy access to the beach and shopping. You can rent a kayak and take your own tour on the water. There’s also parasailing, boating, and hiking to keep you occupied on your vacation. When you’re ready to end your day of leisure, there are endless dining options from a casual dinner at a tavern to elegant fine dining for two. Whichever you choose, there’s bound to be a great selection of delicious entrees.

Block Island rentals are the perfect place to getaway to when you need that special time with a loved one. If you just want a few days to relax on the beach or a week full of fun and trying something new, you’re going to the right place.